Young second rower Eliesa Katoa, halfback Chanel Harris-Tavita and centre Euan Aitken have all been included in the Vodafone Warriors’ 21-man squad for Sunday’s ninth-round NRL encounter with Manly-Warringah at Lottoland in Sydney (2.00pm kick-off local time; 4.00pm NZT).
The 21-year-old Katoa comes straight back into the starting line-up replacing powerhouse forward Ben Murdoch-Masila, who has been ruled out following a head knock late in the second half of Sunday’s 24-20 win over North Queensland.
Katoa's last NRL appearance was coincidentally against Manly when the Vodafone Warriors fell to a 12-13 fifth-round loss at Central Coast Stadium.
He had an impressive outing for feeder club Redcliffe in the Intrust Super Cup the following week only to pick up a toe injury which has had him side-lined the last two weeks.
Harris-Tavita has been listed in jersey #20 as he eyes a return after being side-lined for the last six rounds following surgery for a stress fracture in his left foot picked up in the 16-20 round two loss to Newcastle.
New signing Aitken has appeared only in the season-opening 19-6 win over Gold Coast when he suffered an ankle injury which required surgery. He has been listed in jersey #22.
Match: Sea Eagles v Warriors
Round 9 -
Fullback for Sea Eagles is number 1 Tom TrbojevicFullback for Warriors is number 1 Roger Tuivasa-Sheck
Winger for Sea Eagles is number 2 Jason SaabWinger for Warriors is number 2 Edward Kosi
Centre for Sea Eagles is number 3 Brad ParkerCentre for Warriors is number 3 Adam Pompey
Centre for Sea Eagles is number 4 Morgan HarperCentre for Warriors is number 4 Rocco Berry
Winger for Sea Eagles is number 5 Reuben GarrickWinger for Warriors is number 5 Ken Maumalo
Five-Eighth for Sea Eagles is number 6 Kieran ForanFive-Eighth for Warriors is number 20 Chanel Harris-Tavita
Halfback for Sea Eagles is number 7 Daly Cherry-EvansHalfback for Warriors is number 7 Kodi Nikorima
Prop for Sea Eagles is number 8 Taniela PasekaProp for Warriors is number 8 Jamayne Taunoa-Brown
Hooker for Sea Eagles is number 9 Lachlan CrokerHooker for Warriors is number 9 Wayde Egan
Prop for Sea Eagles is number 10 Sean KeppieProp for Warriors is number 10 Kane Evans
2nd Row for Sea Eagles is number 11 Haumole Olakau'atu2nd Row for Warriors is number 11 Josh Curran
2nd Row for Sea Eagles is number 12 Josh Schuster2nd Row for Warriors is number 17 Bayley Sironen
Lock for Sea Eagles is number 13 Jake TrbojevicLock for Warriors is number 13 Tohu Harris
Interchange for Sea Eagles is number 14 Cade CustInterchange for Warriors is number 6 Reece Walsh
Interchange for Sea Eagles is number 15 Moses SuliInterchange for Warriors is number 14 Jazz Tevaga
Interchange for Sea Eagles is number 16 Zac SaddlerInterchange for Warriors is number 15 Leeson Ah Mau
Interchange for Sea Eagles is number 17 Toafofoa SipleyInterchange for Warriors is number 16 Bunty Afoa
Reserve for Sea Eagles is number 18 Ben TrbojevicReserve for Warriors is number 18 Jack Murchie
- Referee: Peter Gough
- Touch Judge: Darian Furner
- Touch Judge: Todd Smith
- Senior Review Official: Ashley Klein
Other than Katoa coming in for Murdoch-Masila, the starting side and nominated bench is unchanged from the victory over the Cowboys.
It again sees two-game centre Rocco Berry and last week’s debutant winger Edward Kosi named on the right edge while the exciting rookie Reece Walsh is selected in the halves with the experienced Kodi Nikorima.
After eight rounds – a third of the season – the Vodafone Warriors sit seventh on the NRL ladder with a four win-four loss record.
Hit with a heavy injury toll and suspensions, head coach Nathan Brown has already been forced to use 28 players with Roger Tuivasa-Sheck, Ken Maumalo, Kodi Nikorima, Wayde Egan, Jazz Tevaga and Leeson Ah Mau the only ones set to make their ninth straight appearance this week.
Tuivasa-Sheck goes into the return clash against Manly in a three-way share of the lead on the Dally M points table after collecting three points against the Cowboys when he made 225 metres (including 62 post contact metres) from 28 runs with eight tackle breaks, a line break, a try assist and three off loads.
He’s first among all players for most runs (196), second for most metres (1965), third for most post contact metres (571) and fourth for most tackle breaks (44).
VODAFONE WARRIORS v MANLY WARRINGAH SEA EAGLES
2.00pm, Sunday, May 9, 2021
1 ROGER TUIVASA-SHECK (c)
2 EDWARD KOSI
3 ADAM POMPEY
4 ROCCO BERRY
5 KEN MAUMALO
6 REECE WALSH
7 KODI NIKORIMA
8 JAMAYNE TAUNOA-BROWN
9 WAYDE EGAN
10 KANE EVANS
11 JOSH CURRAN
12 ELIESA KATOA
13 TOHU HARRIS
14 JAZZ TEVAGA
15 LEESON AH MAU
16 BUNTY AFOA
17 BAYLEY SIRONEN
18 JACK MURCHIE
20 CHANEL HARRIS-TAVITA
21 TOM ALE
22 EUAN AITKEN
HEAD COACH | NATHAN BROWN